Thursday, September 26, 2019

the return of OIK only now it's OIPK which is not as easy or fun to say

Yes, friends--as I hoped, my teeming, thriving PreK classroom is giving off all the right kinds of emissions.  So many INTERESTING words, phrases, ideas are clouding the atmosphere at any given moment that my more elderly brain can barely sequester them!

And so, in the tradition established in 2011, I now bring you OIPK Friday, an occasional series in which (sure, you can join me if you'd like, but I'mma just go for it here on my own) I post a bon mot Overheard in PreK and then write a poem about it.

To kick us off, last week I had the surprising pleasure of teaching 4yos to drink from the water fountain near the gym. "We have one in our room, too," I said.  After this first effort, Noah came up the next day and did his little pat-pat-pat-pat-no wait there's more-pat-pat-pat-pat-pat on my arm and said, "Ms. Gordmorse, can you show me where the water mountain is?"

The Water Mountain

the bear went over the mountain
the bear went over the mountain
the bear went over the mountain
to get a drop to drink

Look at the shining
hill of water as it
pops shockingly up
arcs unpredictably
over your nose
into your eye
runs down your chin
but your mouth

the other side of the mountain
the other side of the mountain
the other side of the mountain
was not what he could drink

That shining
hill of water
drops through
thin air
and disappears
before the bear
can wrap his
lumbering tongue around
the glassy wet column
of nothingness

 ©Heidi Mordhorst

The round-up today is with Carol at Beyond Literacy Link, where she shares just one small part of her summer gallery.  Float on over for a mountain of goodness!

Friday, September 20, 2019


A Found Poem Using Bits & Pieces
From Social Media

Good morning world

it's kicking off,
the sea is rising, and so are we

Melbourne Sydney
Mumbai  Assam

how dare that child 
sail across the Atlantic 
to beg Congress 
not to kill the planet

environmental breakdown

impossible to ignore

Jakarta Kampala
Freiburg Berlin

the crisis won't wait
and neither will we

if you were smarter
we'd be in school

when your house is burning down
you don't wait 30 years 
to call the fire brigade

Kyiv Prag
Newcastle London

climate change doesn't care about
your political stand

not a single government minister
has come out in support

we probably hit a record here

amidst the gloom
a moment of hope

let's hope everyone is listening

polar bears in Paris
DC New York
sweet suffering duck
this is absolutely massive

if you breathe air
then you should care

Friday, September 13, 2019

new brew

PreK Flu

And lo the teacher was laid low

by new, exquisite germs.
They came to school all set to grow
with squeals and leaps and squirms.

Fourteen in the morning, 

seventeen pm,
I'm walloped without warning
by PreK FluTM.

Is this new brew terrible?
it's beautifully bearable!

Friday, September 6, 2019

unboxing a new challenge


More encouragement, whatever your age and *especially* if you're feeling some remorse over the way you have contributed to climate warming, to get involved in demonstration activities coming up soon!


Did you have the feeling that Hurricane Dorian was unusual? Learn more about how these catastrophic events are directly connected to rising temperatures.

Thanks for your action!


This week the Sunday Night Swaggers are sharing responses to a monthly poem challenge. This one comes from Catherine at Reading to the Core. She presented photos of a sampling of boxes and asked us to write about one or more of the boxes.

It now being heavy-duty start-of-school time for me, I sought to cheat by searching my blog for something I remembered about "building the box."  I found the posts I was thinking of, here and here, but I DIDN'T find a poem written and waiting for revision and recycling, oh no.  What I did find was a picture that was very intriguing in the context of this coming-of-age WIP that is consuming me.  So this--and don't you, my teacher friends, all know that kid who is compelled to make up their own version of the assignment?--is a poem for my WIP about my self-selected "wonkbox" drawing.  Thanks to Catherine and the Sunday Night Swaggers (because we borrow & steal but we still keep it real) for all their challenging support for this ms!

built of boxes

my head is a dream box:
:press the sleep button and
the dreams stream out
nightlong string of tickets at the arcade
printed perforated flimsy cheap & precious

my body’s a straightup box of awkward
arms and legs crossing unexpectedly:
:knee jerk reactions, elbows like wings
bending and tilting at wrong angles
nothing ever the same size twice

my brain is a juice box
of sticky sugar endocrine, pure 
digital ones and zeros no longer compute:
:throwing exceptions left and right, 
thinking through my nether regions

my hands are two toolboxes I
don’t know how to use, wrench up 
hammer down liar liar pinch the pliers 
ratchet ratchet nail and screw:
:me the builder can I fix it 

  my way
out         of this 

©Heidi Mordhorst 2019

You can see other Swaggers' responses to the box challenge at their blogs:

-Catherine at Reading to the Core -Margaret at Reflections on the Teche -Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
-Linda at A Word Edgewise

Our hosts today are poet-author-publisher friends, Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong,  at Poetry for Children.  Bounce on over to get info about the IBBY Regional Conference, which looks too good to miss!